As my sister and I try to keep the kids on our “healthier eating” kick, we decided to take a stab at our lunch time rituals. This week, instead of simply making them their favorite “Baby Jaguar” sandwiches with chips, we decided to play dress up – with our food, and our table.
We didn’t have a lot of time to pull something together, but we managed to find a random assortment of plates and napkins that were left over from the last birthday party. Luckily for us, it was all we needed to tell the kids that we had something special planned for lunch.
As soon as we announced that we were throwing them a “Try New Foods” party, they all started jumping up and down. Their enthusiasm was just what my sister and I needed: even if we knew that it wasn’t the “new foods” part that they were excited about (it was just the “party” part). Regardless, we ran with it.
We knew that if we tried to swap out their regular lunch with all new food-things, this party could turn into a screaming, tear-filled disaster. So instead, we decided to be very sneaky (oops, I mean subtle!) about our changes.
For starters, they still got their “Baby Jaguar” sandwiches (a Kraft cheese sandwich with mayo), but instead of making it with plain old white bread, we switched over to Fiber One white bread. And, we’re happy to report that no one noticed the bread switch!
Then, instead of adding some plain old Doritos to their plates, they got some Pirate’s Booty in their place. Everyone enjoyed the booty, and my daughter thought it was quite hysterical to scream “BOOOOTTTYY!” over, and over, and over again. We even gave them a “salad” – cucumbers with Hidden Valley Ranch Light dressing.
Remarkably, they were all pretty good about the whole lunch time switcharoo – and my son, even asked for a helping of watermelon!
Now my sister and I know that no party is a good party without some…CAKE, and we wanted to reward the kids for being such good sports. That morning, after we decided to throw the “Try New Foods” party, I put some overripe bananas to good use and whipped up a batch of Banana Cupcakes. [FYI: I know that a cupcake isn’t the healthiest food choice – but, they were made from scratch, with love, and had lots of bananas in them – so it counted!]
To continue with our party theme, we let each of the kids decorate their own cupcakes. This was key because it also ensured that my niece, would stop asking my sister what kind of cupcake it was!
Unlike Ava, my nephew, could have cared less what was in the cupcake – to him, a cupcake is a cupcake, end of story.